I T LOOKS AS bad as it sounds. Over the past couple of months, a thick, foamy layer of marine mucilage, popularly known as "sea snot", has spread over swathes of Turkey's Marmara Sea near Istanbul, disrupting fishing and tourism and killing marine life. A cleanup effort, the biggest in Turkey's history, is underway. Ships are corralling the muck, which is secreted by phytoplankton (marine algae), using floating barriers. Workers are hoovering it up from the surface. The government has pledged to save the Marmara by improving wastewater treatment. Enjoy more audio and podcasts on iOS Android . The Marmara has seen regular mucilage outbreaks since 2007. This is the biggest one yet. Vast sheets of brown and grey slime float on the water, clogging boat engines and washing up on beaches. Some of the muck has already reached the Aegean Sea through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea through the Bosporus. The view below the surface is no better. The gunk has begun settling on the seabed, where it clings to and kills coral and shellfish. By blocking sunlight, and so stopping other algae from photosynthesising, the sludge is depleting the sea of vital oxygen. Scientists say a combination… Read full this story
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